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Bullied teen left goodbye message for parents after taking fatal overdose

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 04, 2014

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Simon Brooks, 15, from Tonyrefail, who died of a suspected overdose after suffering years of bullying. He is pictured with his mum Julie.

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A BULLIED teenage boy left a goodbye message for his grieving parents after taking a suspected overdose which he later died from.

Fifteen-year-old Simon Brooks, of Tonyrefail, Rhondda Cynon Taf, died on Tuesday.

He had taken a suspected overdose four days earlier.

His mum Julie Brooks claimed her son had been bullied at his current school, Y Pant, in Pontyclun, and former school.

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A number of pupils are understood to have staged demonstrations in support of Simon at the school on Thursday afternoon.

They were said to have chanted his name.

Simon died at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, having initially received treatment at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant.

His "goodbye letter" was in the form of a note on his phone, she said.

Part of it read: "I can't cope any more."

His mum said he talked of how he was being bullied to the ambulance crew who had taken him to hospital for treatment.

He had left Ysgol Gyfun Treorchi after he was allegedly assaulted on a train on the way to school.

But his problems had continued at Y Pant, according to his mum, who said he had been subjected to at least 18 months of bullying, including being pushed about, having his bag grabbed.

"He loved the lessons and had a lovely group of friends, but he wasn't being left alone at break times and lunchtimes," his mum is reported as saying.

She said that during holidays he would count the days and hours until he had to go back and on a Sunday night he would beg her not to send him back to school.

Her hope is that lessons can be learned from her son’s death.

Y Pant pupils wore purple on Wednesday as a mark of respect for Simon, according to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

A spokesman said counsellors and educational psychologists were at the school advising pupils, and parents were also being given support.

Y Pant head teacher Mark Powell released a statement saying: "We are all shocked and saddened by the death of Simon Brooks and our thoughts and sincere condolences are with his family and friends at this tragic time.

"We at the school and its wider community are struggling to come to terms with his sudden death and our main focuses at this time are to respect the wishes of his family and to support those pupils who have been affected."

With regard to bullying, Treorchy Comprehensive School says on its website: "We feel it is important to help pupils focus on their role within the school and outline to them how they can help themselves and others.

"We have the right not to be bullied in any way, shape or form. We have the responsibility not to bully others and to report any bullying we see. We have the right to feel safe in and around school."

South Wales Police said they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.

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